Vietnam Detains Bible Students, Expels Missionary

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

HANOI, VIETNAM (BosNewsLife)-- Rights activists say Christians in Vietnam face increased persecution after a foreign missionary was expelled and Bible students were detained by security forces

In one of the latest known incidents students gathering for a Bible class in Hanoi were detained by security forces. Advocacy and aid group Open Doors quoted Pastor Nguyen as saying that the students "were arrested by Hanoi security during our Bible class."

He said an unidentified foreign missionary "leading our class was charged $1,000 and expelled from the country.”

Open Doors said "Christians in Vietnam have been experiencing an increase in persecution" since Vietnam's Communist government adopted the new 'Law on Belief and Religion' on November 18, "which further limits freedom of religion considerably".

It added to anxiety among Christians.

HOUSE CHURCHES

"Historically Christian communities are often subject to arrests and land grabbing by the authorities. Converts to Christianity from Buddhist or ethnic-animist backgrounds face the strongest persecution, however, not only from the authorities, but also from families, friends and neighbors," Open Doors said.

Protestant Christian believers are especially targeted as they "tend to gather in house-churches for fellowship" outside the official churches, Open Doors explained.

"Their members face discrimination at various levels of society."

Vietnamese authorities have often denied targeting minorities, including devoted Christians.

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